27 July 2016
Sometimes it’s hard to be a Catholic. I mean, society today doesn’t seem all that interested in the gospel, or the Eucharist. And, yet, those are pretty central to our lives. We try to spread a message of mercy and morals; the Church tries to keep humanity on the right path so we can be fulfilled and happy and at peace. But so much of it just falls on deaf ears.
And, in that, trying to be a good and faithful Catholic today is, perhaps, like the experience of the Prophet Jeremiah. He was a good and peaceful man, a man who spoke the truth that God put into his heart; someone who tried his hardest to love God above all, and to love his neighbor. But he was “cursed” by all because of it. It can be discouraging to be a prophet of the Lord; it can be discouraging to be a Catholic today.
But, I suppose, it’s like that person who finds a treasure buried in a field, and goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. That person found joy in the treasure (and the treasure is the Kingdom of heaven). But the treasure was buried in the dirt; you can’t see it without digging. But it wasn’t just that one treasure that brought the person joy. It was also the hope that in the field there might be more buried treasure.
Every time we uncover a bit of the Kingdom of heaven, it inspires us to keep digging (because “there has to be more where that came from”). We Catholics put up with the indifference of society; we put up with the jokes and the derision and the put downs—because that’s the “dirt” that comes with digging for the Kingdom. And, you know, not all of society is against us.
Out there in the world, there are people who desire God, who desire the sacraments and their grace; there are people who are lost and are overjoyed at being “found.” There’s a lot of “dirt” out there (and even among the faithful, I dare say). But there’s a lot of buried treasure, too. And that’s the joy of being a Catholic: spreading the gospel, sharing the Eucharist, digging through the dirt . . . and every now and then coming face to face with a kindred spirit; a fellow human in whom dwells the Spirit of God.
So, go ahead and give all you can to this adventure we call “the Catholic faith.” There’ll be a lot of digging. But the treasures we find will be well worth the effort.